LONG POND, Pa., June 30 — An exhibition of vintage Indy cars will be part of the Pocono INDYCAR 400 Fueled by Sunoco festivities July 5-7 at Pocono Raceway.
The vintage cars will lap the 2.5-mile triangle during two 15-minute sessions at 12:05 p.m. and 5:05 p.m. on Friday, July 5.
They will also do a few pace laps before the Firestone Indy Lights race at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 6 and before the IZOD IndyCar Series race at noon Sunday, July 7.
Fans can get a close look at the vintage cars in the paddock throughout the weekend in a large tent that will be erected near the cafeteria.
The exhibition is being organized by ex-American Racing Drivers’ Club (ARDC) midget driver Gary Mondschein. He lives in Brodheadsville, Pa., which is about 14 miles from the track. Mondschein, who owns several vintage race cars, is the president of the vintage division of the American TQ Midget Racing Association (ATQMRA).
“Pocono Raceway was built with Indy cars in mind, and we believe that the addition of the classic Indy cars to the events at the Pocono IndyCar 400 will serve to fascinate the experienced fan and educate the new one,” Mondschein said. “We invite everyone to come see these cars up close, relive their fondest racing memories here at Pocono and enjoy the friendships and camaraderie of a simpler time.”
The last Indy car race at Pocono was held 24 years ago, and open-wheel fans are excited to have Indy cars back at one of their marquee tracks.
Some of the vintage cars that will be on exhibition are even older than the “Tricky Triangle,” which broke ground in 1969 and staged its first Indy car race in 1971.
The vintage race cars are sure to get a great deal of attention at Pocono because Pennsylvanians are among the most knowledgeable and devout race fans in America. The Keystone State is tied with Indiana in second place for the state with the most race tracks at 60 each. Only Texas has more, with 68.
Fans old and new appreciate the vintage race cars’ sleek lines and the various sounds that will reverberate through the Pocono Mountains when their engines are fired up. They’ll also marvel at how far racing technology and safety have come in just a few decades.
Those old enough to have seen these cars compete in the past will take a trip down memory lane. Younger fans that appreciate history will get to not only see the cars up close but also in action, making it easy for them to close their eyes and imagine what racing used to be like.
At press time eight vintage cars were scheduled to be on display to contrast with their modern counterpart, the Dallara DW12. They include:
- No. 64, a white, 1971 Brawner/McGee Scorpion Ford that belongs to Doug and Karen Winslow of Cleveland, Ohio. Mario Andretti drove Brawner cars from 1965 through 1969. Art Pollard drove this one in the 1971 Indy 500.
- No. 26, a blue and white, 1966 Lola Offy owned by John Darlington of Indianapolis. This supercharged car was Rodger Ward’s last ride at Indy. It is a sister car to ones driven by Jackie Stewart and Graham Hill.
- Stewart led by over a lap late in that year’s Indy 500 until he suffered mechanical difficulties and dropped out. Hill inherited the lead and went on to win, while Stewart was voted Rookie of the Year. Defending race winner Jimmy Clark spun twice but finished second.
- The car on display started 13th and finished 15th, completing 74 laps before dropping out with mechanical difficulties.
- That was the year that 11 cars, or a third of the field, were eliminated in a massive crash on the frontstretch right after taking the green, marking the year the fewest number of cars were still running at the checkered. Incidentally, none of the 11 drivers were injured during the crash except for A.J. Foyt, who hurt his hand when he climbed the catch fence while leaving the scene.
- Mondschein and Brad Edwards of Indianapolis will drive Ward’s No. 26 during the Pocono exhibition.
- No. 69, a blue and white 1988 Lola Cosworth DFX owned by Norbert Ziemann of Alexandria, Va. Bernard Jourdain started 20th in this car in the 1989 Indy 500 and finished ninth, and was named the co-Rookie of the Year with Scott Pruett. Jourdain is the uncle of fellow racer Michel Jourdain Jr.
- Ziemann, who often lets children pose for photos with the car during down times, said Mario Andretti drove this Lola a couple of times in other champ car races too.
- No. 3, a maroon and tan 1947 Kurtis Kraft Offy stretched midget sprint car owned by John B. Haines IV of Pennsburg, Pa. He founded and is co-chairman of Haines & Kibblehouse (H&K Group) of Skippack, Pa., which paved Pocono Raceway in 1998 and again in 2011-2012.
- This car used to be owned and wrenched by Ken Hickey. Haines will drive it during the Pocono exhibition, but in the past it was driven by Ernie McCoy, Dick Linder and Jim Hurtubise.
- No. 26, a red and white 1968 Gerhardt Chevy owned by Toney Edwards of Greenwood, Ind.
- No. 30, the 1988 March Cosworth Domino’s Pizza car driven by Raul Boesel. It’s also owned by Edwards today. It started 20th and finished seventh in the 1988 Indy 500. Boesel was the point leader going into the race, but Michael Andretti was the leader afterwards thanks to a fourth-place finish.
- No. 43, a red 1961 Kurtis Offy roadster driven by Ray Brady now owned by renowned race car collector Raymond Boissoneau of Manchester, N.H.
- No. 2, a replica of the white and red 1963 Sheraton-Thompson Special roadster driven by A.J. Foyt. It is owned by Wayne Laucius of Mount Bethel, Pa.